Yuki Noguchi

Yuki Noguchi joined NPR News in May 2008 as a correspondent. She is a general assignment reporter covering business for NPR's National Desk. She began reporting for NPR in Washington during hectic times, with the 2008 presidential race underway and as the economy started to experience severe turmoil. Her stories have ranged from declines in SUV sales at Carmax to profiles of important figures involved in the Wall Street bailout. Noguchi's pieces can be heard on Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Weekend Edition Sunday.

Before joining NPR, Noguchi worked at The Washington Post, first as a reporter and later as an editor. Starting in 1999, she covered economic development. Starting in 2000, she covered telecommunications and wrote stories about the major industry mergers, the Federal Communications Commission and the rise of some of the Internet giants. On the side, she also wrote about her love of swing dancing. Later, she covered consumer technology, writing features about people and their relationships with their gadgets. This was her favorite beat. Most recently, Noguchi directed the paper's coverage of national technology news. Prior to joining the Post, Noguchi reported on business and politics for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle and The Orlando Sentinel.

Noguchi's parents left Japan to study in the U.S. in the early 1970s. Noguchi and her younger brother grew up in St. Louis. She received her B.A. in history from Yale University. During a year off, she studied in Yokohama, Japan, and worked for Kyodo News Service in Tokyo. She is fluent in Japanese and speaks conversational German. She has forgotten the bulk of a class in Arabic.

Noguchi lives with her husband, Christopher Libertelli, in Bethesda, Maryland. Outside of NPR she practices yoga and still loves swing dancing.



Fri September 2, 2011

In Jobless Data, Devil May Be In Details

The Labor Department releases its reports on August unemployment on Friday. What economists are expecting is by now a familiar story: That August did not generate enough job growth to move the needle on the jobless rate. But the most intractable part of the jobless problem might be the one that doesn't show up in the numbers.

The unemployment rate is expected to tick up slightly to 9.2 percent. Two years ago, the unemployment rate was 9.5 percent.

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Thu September 1, 2011

Will Consumer Queasiness Drag Down The Economy?

Customers shop for kitchen appliances at a Home Depot store in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

When it comes to the economy, there's lots to worry about: Jobs, home prices, debt. And all those concerns seemed to have come together in the latest snapshot of consumer confidence — it plunged to its lowest level in two years.

The concern is that a country full of increasingly pessimistic consumers will stop spending and undermine the recovery.

But the relationship between consumer confidence and spending habits isn't at all straightforward.

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Wed August 31, 2011

What's Left To Fix The Economy If It Gets Worse?

With the U.S. economy stuck in neutral, analysts are busy adjusting their forecasts to include the possibility of another recession. Most aren't predicting another downturn, they're just saying that the odds have increased.

Meanwhile, policymakers at the Federal Reserve are divided about what to do next. Some are arguing for more aggressive action while others think that would be a mistake, according to minutes from their last meeting released on Tuesday.

Both the Fed and Congress are running out of ideas that they haven't already tried.

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Thu August 25, 2011

Can Apple Fly As High Without Steve Jobs?

Steve Jobs' resignation from Apple Wednesday prompted all sorts of retrospectives on the man who has run the iconic company for the last 14 years.

Jobs will remain as chairman of Apple. But what's next depends on how well Apple can recover from losing the man whose identity, for so long, was tied up with the company's.

Most companies, if they're lucky, have one great idea, but what's made Apple different is its ability to stage wildly successful second, third, and fourth acts

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Tue August 23, 2011

Young Entrepreneur Has A Better Idea. Now What?

Originally published on Tue August 23, 2011 8:30 am

Meredith Perry demonstrates her invention at All Things Digital, an annual tech conference.
Asa Mathat AllThingsD

Meredith Perry turned 22 this month. She just graduated from college and started a new company built around a technology she recently invented.

There's plenty of bad economic news these days, but Perry and her company, called UBeam, are trying to defy it — she's hiring and entertaining funding offers from investors.

Perry's invention: a transmitter that can recharge wireless devices using ultrasonic waves. It's like Wi-Fi, she says, except instead of a wireless Internet connection, her's transmits power over the air.

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Thu August 18, 2011

Fears Over Europe, U.S. Weigh On Banks, Markets

Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America all have billions of dollars invested in troubled European countries.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

The stock market is at it again. After bouncing back last week, there was a huge sell-off Thursday.

The Dow Jones industrial average lost 419 points — more than 3.5 percent on the day — and once again, Europe's debt crisis was a big factor. It's affecting European banks which, in turn, affect the U.S. financial sector.

European bank stocks had lost as much as 14 percent of their value by the time the U.S. markets opened.

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Thu August 18, 2011

Why Does The U.S. Sneeze When Europe Gets A Cold?

The crisis in Europe is one of the underlying causes of recent wild swings in U.S. stock markets. U.S. bank stocks in particular suffer badly with any sign that Europe's debt crisis might be worsening.

But the U.S. financial sector's vulnerabilities in Europe are hard to quantify.

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Mon August 15, 2011

Oh, The Nerve: Betting On Fear In A Volatile Market

A trader studies his computer screen in the VIX pit at the Chicago Board Options Exchange on April 27.
Brian Kersey Getty Images

If being invested in a wildly unpredictable stock market freaks you out right now, you're definitely not alone.

In fact, there's an index to measure that nervousness, and even trade on it. It's called the Volatility Index, or VIX, but it also goes by another name: the fear gauge. And during times like these, the VIX draws lots of attention.

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Tue August 9, 2011

Markets Volatile As Fed Makes Announcement

Domestic and foreign markets are still reacting to Standard & Poor's downgrade of the U.S. debt. And now states and cities are seeing their risk assessments lowered.


Mon August 8, 2011

How Much Do Debt Ratings Matter?

President Obama signs the financial reform bill into law in 2010 as Vice President Joe Biden and lawmakers look on.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Standard & Poor's moved to downgrade housing lenders Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and a handful of insurance companies Monday — all in connection to Friday's credit downgrade of long-term U.S. debt.

There's a lot of speculation about how much these risk downgrades are weighing on stock markets, and whether they will continue to ripple through the economy. But, there are systemic reasons ratings matter less than they have in recent years.

Conventional wisdom says a U.S. downgrade would make Treasuries riskier. It would make yields — or interest rates — rise.

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Fri August 5, 2011

More Jobs Created Than Economists Expceted

Originally published on Fri August 5, 2011 11:11 am



It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.


And I'm Renee Montagne.

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Thu August 4, 2011

Double Dip: Is U.S. Headed For Another Recession?

Stock markets plummeted Thursday amid growing worries about the U.S. economy and Europe's mounting debt problems. In late-afternoon trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down nearly 500 points, or 4 percent, and other indexes saw similar drops.

The U.S. economy barely grew in the first half of the year. And economists aren't expecting good news about jobs from the Labor Department on Friday.

These indicators and more are raising questions about whether the United States is headed for a double-dip recession

No Growth 'Surge' In Sight

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Mon August 1, 2011

Despite Deal, Credit Downgrade Still A Possibility

Congress' tentative deal to raise the nation's debt ceiling calls for more than $2 trillion in spending cuts, far short of the $4 trillion in deficit reductions proposed earlier in the process.

And that keeps the doors open to a potential downgrade in the country's credit rating. Of the three major ratings agencies, Standard & Poor's toed the hardest line on a possible downgrade to U.S. debt.

Last month, S&P said there was a 50 percent chance the U.S. could lose its top AAA rating if Congress failed to come up with a "credible agreement to reduce the debt."

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Fri July 29, 2011

System Makes It Hard To Prioritize U.S. Bill Payments

It's not yet clear if the U.S. Treasury has the ability to pick and chose who gets paid and who gets stiffed if it the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling isn't raised and it runs out of credit.

The government doesn't have flexibility like the average household might, says Jay Powell, a former Treasury undersecretary under President George H.W. Bush and a fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center.

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Tue July 26, 2011

What A Credit Ratings Cut Could Mean For The U.S.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in April. The country's credit rating could suffer if Congress fails to address the nation's long-term debt.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

With a debt ceiling deadline approaching, party leaders spent the day counting votes.

There are two plans: One, the handiwork of House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-OH), the other from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV).

The problem is that it's not clear that either one can muster the votes necessary for approval.

Monday night, President Obama dramatized the threat this way:

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Thu July 21, 2011

One Year Later, Financial Reform Questions Remain

President Obama signs the financial reform bill into law, July 21, 2010. Vice President Joe Biden, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), then Senate Banking Chairman Christopher Dodd (D-CT), House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-MA) and other lawmakers look on.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

A year ago Thursday, jubilant Democratic lawmakers — including then-Sen. Christopher Dodd and Rep. Barney Frank — joined President Obama on stage as the president signed a new financial reform law.

"The American people will never again be asked to foot the bill for Wall Street's mistakes. There will be no more tax-funded bailouts — period," Obama said.

The so-called Dodd-Frank Act will mean no firms are too big to fail, the president said.

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Tue July 19, 2011

Why Borders Failed While Barnes And Noble Survived

Borders Group Inc., the nation's second largest bookstore chain, announced that it will liquidate the company.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

It appears to be all over for the Borders bookselling chain. The company will be liquidated – meaning sold off in pieces – and almost 11,000 employees will lose their jobs. The chain's 400 remaining stores will close their doors by the end of September.

The retailer's first bookstore opened in Ann Arbor, Michigan 40 years ago. Along with competitor Barnes and Noble, Borders pioneered the book megastore business. But Borders made some critical missteps over the years that cost it the business.

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Mon July 11, 2011
NPR Story

Unions, Business Owners Face Off In Jobs Debate

With unemployment on the rise, members of the political left and right are seeking to advance their own takes on what to do about the economy. In Washington Monday, the AFL-CIO co-hosted a press conference to offer its view. Not far away, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce held its own jobs summit.


Wed June 22, 2011
Children's Health

Junk Food Fight: Should Ads Stop Targeting Teens?

Originally published on Wed June 22, 2011 9:01 am

A screen shot of Doritos Asylum 626 project, an interactive, online horror movie created to attract teenage consumers.
Asylum 626

The government says junk food marketers shouldn't advertise to kids. Not just on TV, but also online, in schools and in stores.

The guidelines being proposed are voluntary; food companies can opt out. Still, with four powerful agencies, including the Federal Trade Commission and the Food and Drug Administration, throwing their weight behind the proposal, the food industry is taking the measure seriously.

One of the most contentious issues is whether the marketing limits should be applied to older kids, aged 12 to 17 — like 13-year-old Reed Weisenberger.

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Thu June 16, 2011

With Greece Near Default, Wider Impact Feared

Protesters in Athens gather in front of the Greek parliament as riot police stand guard Wednesday.
Aris Messinis AFP/Getty Images

With Greece in political and economic turmoil, financial market participants worry what effect it will have on the rest of the world. Euro-zone countries helped fund a previous rescue package for Greece. But French and German banks are still highly exposed to potential losses in Greece.

And that has investors in the U.S. and elsewhere worried about potential fallout.

If Greece is unable to pass austerity measures and cannot secure more international aid, it will start defaulting on $165 billion worth of debt this summer.

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Wed June 8, 2011
Crisis In The Housing Market

Economy Leaves Homebuyers Cautious To Commit

It turns out that the housing market works a lot like love. At least for some people.

Take Christina Huang. She fell in love with a $969,000 house in Northern Virginia. She could picture raising a family. But there were a few red flags after an inspection, and she realized it wasn't going to work.

It took her several months to go on a proper date with her husband. Her housing search has taken considerably longer.

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Fri June 3, 2011

Dear Job Market, Thanks For A Lousy Grad Gift


The recession ended two years ago, but it seems the job market hasn't gotten the memo.

This will be the third year college graduates will enter the workforce facing a high unemployment rate. The poor job market is already taking a tough toll on recent grads.

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Thu May 26, 2011

In LinkedIn IPO, Hints Of Another Tech Bubble?

When the career-focused social networking site LinkedIn sold shares to the public and managed to more than double its share price and reach a market value of nearly $9 billion last week, many people thought: bubble.

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Fri April 29, 2011
Japan In Crisis

One Big Obstacle To Japan's Recovery? Trash

Last month's earthquake and tsunami have left Japan with a massive trash problem. In many parts of the country's affected coastline, there's literally nothing left but mud and debris.

On the outskirts of the seaside city of Kesennuma, what was once a baseball field and park has been turned into at least two football fields' worth of garbage, piled 15 feet high. Bulldozers are going through it all. There's aluminum siding, school desks, bits of carpet. The stench can be detected from blocks away — it smells a little bit like rotting fish.

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Thu April 28, 2011
Japan In Crisis

Rebuilding A Soy Sauce Company, From The Barrel Up

Some businesses are pledging to rebuild in the areas most ravaged by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The question now is how.

The infrastructure is gone. Local governments are decimated. Workers no longer have houses. And factories and customer records have been washed away.

But one soy sauce maker is on a quest to overcome the odds.

It's hard to find what used to be the 204-year-old headquarters of Yagisawa Co. in what was the city of Rikuzentakata.

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Fri April 22, 2011
Japan In Crisis

Japan Struggles With How To Heal 'Children's Hearts'

This week marked the start of the new school year for some of the areas affected by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

In the deeply devastated city of Rikuzentakata, classes started more than two weeks late. The students' return highlights Japan's struggle to figure out how to care of young disaster survivors.

At Takata Elementary School, second-graders stand beside their tiny desks in their new homeroom, playing a clapping game.

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Mon April 18, 2011
Japan In Crisis

Japanese Celebrate The Dead Amid A Town's Ruins

The Japanese seaside town of Rikuzentakata is home to a tiny temple called Kongoji. It's perched on a hillside and is one of the few structures still intact after last month's earthquake and tsunami.

Rikuzentakata was so flattened that it's hard to imagine life continuing here at all. Surveying the whole city, you can see maybe 10 buildings that are still standing. And yet, on a recent day, the sound of drums came from the hillside temple.

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Sun April 17, 2011
Japan In Crisis

Japanese Farmers Linger In State Of Uncertainty

Cherry blossom season in Japan signals the start of the planting of rice and other produce. But the earthquake and subsequent radioactive leak from the nuclear plant has interrupted that rite of spring. Now farmers wait in a state of uncertainty.

At a greenhouse about 70 miles from Tokyo, rows of spinach plants have been laid to waste. Katsunobu Yatagawa, a farmer in the seaside area of Hokota in Ibaraki prefecture, says he's drying the spinach to make it lighter. Then he'll throw it out.

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